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Genesis Goes to Extremes with New GV60 Magma Performance SUV and Neolun Flagship Concept

by | March 26, 2024

Genesis intends to put more emotion into its brand, as it set out to prove during a Monday evening news event ahead of the New York International Auto Show. The Korean luxury brand confirmed plans to launch an all-new lineup of performance models starting with the GV60 Magma, a version of its compact all-electric SUV. Separately, Genesis also unveiled the Neolun Concept, an all but ready-for-production SUV flagship.

Genesis GV60 Magma and Luc Donckerwolke

Luc Donckerwolke, the chief creative officer for the Hyundai Motor Group, shows off the design features of the Genesis GV60 Magma.

In the eight years since the first Genesis sedans rolled into U.S. showrooms, the Korean luxury brand has gone from largely invisible to becoming a serious rival to better established marques like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. And it’s about to pose an even bigger threat – at least based on what it had to show during a preview in New York Monday night.

Following up on the Magma concept it revealed a year ago at the New York International Show, Luc Donckerwolke, the chief creative officer for the Hyundai Motor Group, showed off the Genesis GV60 Magma. The hot orange crossover will be the first of what is set to be a broad lineup of high-performance models from the Korean brand set to challenge the likes of BMW’s M division and the AMG line from Mercedes-Benz.

Minutes later, Genesis officials shifted gears, rolling out the all-electric Neolun concept, positioning it as a possible new flagship for the Korean brand. While the full-sized SUV is, for now, just a show car, senior officials told Headlight.News that there’s a high likelihood that it will return in production form in the next several years.

Molten lava

Genesis GV60 Magma - wheels

A closer look at the Genesis GV60 Magma reveals its high-performance wheels, air curtain exhaust ports and lowered stance.

When Genesis was first spun off from Hyundai it offered just two sedans in its line-up. But it showed its potential with the addition of a third model, the G70 sedan. Positioned as a BMW 3-Series challenger, it won a variety of owners, including North American Car of the Year.

Since then, Genesis management has debated whether to push into a new level of performance, last year offering a hint of where it might go with the Magma concept. On Monday, the automaker rolled out several more takes on where it might go, all painted in the same molten lava orange.

“We will infuse adrenaline into the Genesis brand,” said Donckerwolke, as the covers were pulled off the GV60 Magma.

The first of many

Genesis GV60 Magma - rear 3-4

A factory shot shows the extensive aerodynamic modifications to the back end of the Genesis GV60 Magma.

The all-electric crossover will be the first of what are likely to be many future models wearing Magma badging. And while the sub-brand debuts with the all-electric GV60, company officials stressed that future performance models will use a variety of different powertrains, whether EV, gas or hybrid.

That shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. The Hyundai Motor Group has already begun rolling out an assortment of high-performance products under its two mainstream brands. That includes the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N which will reach market later this year.

The Genesis GV60 Magma takes things to extremes. The crossover has been lowered, with unique high-performance wheels, a big rear spoiler, a front air dam and exhausts just behind the front tires. It also uses small stabilizers on the roof to help improve high-speed handling.

Genesis Neolun Concept - front 3-4

The Genesis Neolun Concept may soon return in production form.

Specific powertrain details weren’t revealed, though the all-electric Magma will likely match, if not exceed the 641 horsepower output of the Ioniq 5 N. As for timing, HMG Chief Operating Officer Jose Munoz told Headlight.News that he hopes to have the GV60 Magma in U.S. showrooms “soon,” which is likely to mean within about a year.

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The G90 sedan has served as the Genesis flagship since the brand headed out on its own. But in this SUV era, Genesis needed something to rival the likes of the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS. If anything, the Neolun targets the even more exclusive Mercedes-Maybach line.

Genesis Neolun Concept - rear 3-4

The Neolun concept has virtually no exterior cutlines.

It’s a sleek, yet full-size luxury crossover that picks up on distinctive styling cues and offers a roomy interior that First Class travelers would appreciate. As big as the current Kia EV9, it features just two rows of seating and an elegantly appointed cabin.

The overall look is surprisingly subtle – adopting what styling chief Sang-Yup Lee referred to as “reductive design.” Think of it as a “river stone,” he added, shaped for millennia by flowing water.

With its flush glass, minimal overhangs and softly sculpted body panels, it might be considered almost subtle – at least if it weren’t for the distinctive double-line lighting that wraps from the nose of the Neolun into its front quarter panels. Another light strip floats just about running boards that all but disappear when not in use. The approach is further underscored by roof rails that also retract when not in use.


Genesis Neolun Concept - side doors open

Neolun’s B-pillarless design, with its reverse-opening doors, could carry into production.

For now, the Neolun isn’t on the Genesis production schedule – but several of the senior executives Headlight.News spoke to made it clear this is not just a show car. The automaker will be listening closely after Neolun’s public debut in New York to see if luxury buyers would like to see it in showrooms.

Significantly, Jaehoon Chang, the CEO of the Hyundai Motor Group told us that Neolun is “95%” ready to go using existing group technology. That appears to include the underlying EV platform on which the Kia EV9 is based.

There are a handful of challenges to work out with some of the interior details, Chang said, but even the B-pillarless design with its reverse-opening rear doors is within reach and would likely carry into production if Neolun gets the go-ahead. A final decision could be made within the coming year.


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